Culture of Kiribati

To know about the culture of Kiribati is to know about half about Kiribati. Kiribati culture is much enriched and the people of Kiribati love to follow the traditions and customs. Family is given prime importance in the culture of Kiribati and even the members of the clan consider each other as the member of the extended family. A known fact about Kiribati is that the inhabitants are friendly people who always give a warm welcome to the visitors.
If you have planned to travel to Kiribati then it is better to know about the rich cultural traditions which bind the people of the community together. Music and dance are an integral part of the life of the islanders. Tabiteuea is a beautiful dance form and all those who visit Kiribati will be really lucky to have a glimpse of the performance. This dance form has a number of martial art figures and the performers continuously chant as they perform the dance. As the chants are performed in chorus it has a greater impact on the audience. Most of these chants are chants of initiation rites.
As most of the people in Kiribati are religious and god-fearing people they believe in rituals. Apart from the pagan beliefs most of the islanders are Christian and apart from the Protestant believers there are a number of Catholics on the island. One cannot speak about Kiribati culture without talking about the traditional beliefs and customs. Most of the islanders have an undivided faith in the mysterious powers of the gods and goddesses who they believe is protecting them from natural disasters. Living so close to the sea has made them very superstitious and many have full faith on the power of magic.
The islanders also believe in anti or the existence of ghosts and small shrines are constructed in the bushes to drive away the power of evil. As the islanders believe in community life most of the problems are solved in maneaba or the meeting houses. The council is composing of elderly people who listen to the complaints and pass the judgments. Most of the problems in Kiribati are solved in this manner. The meeting houses play a pivotal role in the culture of Kiribati.
As music plays an important part in the culture of Kiribati as well as in the life of the islanders you will find that Kiribati folk music is enriched and the chanting is followed by body percussion. There are two types of dance forms and one can find Te Kaimatoa or the standing dance and Te Buki or the hip dance.

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